Monday, June 20, 2011

A Long Rant: Commitment - And Lack Thereof

Lately work has become frustrating in a very, very silly way and I've been spending - and probably wasting - time trying to identify the source of all this ridiculousness.  At the end of the day, I end up leaving with a gigantic "WTF?" hanging over my head.  

Two weeks, my boss selected my AmeriCorps V.I.S.T.A replacement (let's give her a generic name "Jane") over my primary recommendation and last week, she backed out and I felt like it just confirmed my misgivings about picking her in the first place.  

There were many reasons why I liked her and had misgivings about her.  She was nice, more outgoing, which is a bonus for volunteer recruitment, and she had prior experience working in health.  All good things.  But I wasn't too impressed with her writing.  I was looking for someone with a stronger background in writing to tackle the 70-80% task of writing grant proposals and reports.  Also, her primary reason for wanting to go into health was a concussion she suffered from a car accident in high school.  I think interacting with a health professional as a patient is certainly a gateway into piquing someone's interest in health but after several years of volunteering in the health field, there HAS to be more than just that.  

The other individual, my primary recommendation ("Joe"), had much stronger writing and he seemed like a really insightful person who thought a lot about his own personal choices and his own personal interests based on an accumulation of past and recent experiences in the health field.  I was really impressed with his writing too: it showed the thought he put into things.  The only thing going against him was that he wasn't a "bubbly" person.  So I was not too happy we turned "Joe" down on the offer.  I felt like he was much more talented, informed and serious about what he wanted to do.  

By the time she backed out, "Joe" had already selected another V.I.S.T.A position.  I am annoyed that "Jane" did not provide a more adequate reason for her withdrawal.  She either found her dream job or made it past a school waitlist, BUT, the fact of the matter is, she's also wasted everyone's time for what she called a "great opportunity."  The ball was already rolling on a lot of bureaucratic red tape and by the time she notified us, it was too late.  I also think that once a commitment is made, a person should always see it through.  Maybe that is too black and white, but that is how I feel it should be.  

Now I'm vacillating between "crap, what did I do wrong" and "what is WRONG with these kids?!"  These people are my age and younger and, based on the resumes that they submitted for our review, were not in areas that provide a great deal of professional development.  Maybe that is me being arrogant.  Maybe the fresh young grads are naive and still have that optimism of finding the perfect well-paid job, whereas I've lost most of that optimism during my prior failed job hunts and due to reading a lot of news articles about how tough the job market is for young grads.  

As we went down our list of third and fourth candidates they now sang a different tune..."not a good fit." This is frustrating because these people have expressed an interest in health and despite our focus in health, have not gone out of their way to ask specific questions to determine how it is/isn't a good fit and therefore, makes me think that they were never truly interested in the first place.  

And lastly, I really really really think we could have avoided this whole fiasco if they had gone with my primary recommendation....The nature of an AmeriCorps VISTA position is for someone to start something, and the next person to see it through...and there is no one now to see things through to completion.  Maybe what irritates me the most is that I can't help but worry about what will happen with all my unfinished work between July 9th (when my contract ends) and when the next person is hired in November-ish.  

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